Wednesday, April 25, 2007
You know I love you alot. Your Charismatic Smile is one of the finest I have ever seen. Dynamic, Interesting, Personable, and First Year Major League Manager, all descriptions of your character. All of which draws my interest to you. And, yet I can only feel sorry for you right now. Our Washington Nationals are playing poorly. Their inability to make the routine play is mind numbing at times. And, tonight's disaster of a game against The Phillies in Philadelphia nearly unwatchable.
Granted, it was well known, Your 2007 Washington Nationals were going to struggle. A FACT you have also known since the very day you graciously and willingly took this job. Never one to give up (and rightfully so), you have remained positive, despite the truth that your starting pitching for this season would in all likelihood bury The Nationals. Also, the truth that your hitters do not provide alot of power at the plate. But, never did you realize how over matched your Bullpen would be from all their early deficits. Not One Month into the season, Our Relief Corp is WIPED OUT.
AND, NEVER DID YOU REALIZE that your fielders would continually not be able to make the routine defensive play. Three errors tonight could have been called, you know that, but The Official Scorer was generous, as usual. Robert Fick could not track a fly ball to the wall in left with two outs, turning twice, then watching the ball land not even half way up the wall right behind him for a Chase Utley Double. Immediately followed by a John Patterson fastball down the middle of the plate HAMMERED OUT BY RYAN HOWARD for a two run homer.
Dimitri Young dropped a sure double play ball that led to a Phillie Run in the 5th. And, Ronnie Belliard dropped a popup to short right field in the 6th, leading to two additional runs for Philadelphia. One announcer blamed the wind. But, I am not buying that. Really, how bad can this get?
Manny, I am all for "THE PLAN", but please explain to me why Robert Fick started in leftfield tonight? Fick may well be a clubhouse favorite, and I know from personal experience, he is a TERRIFIC GUY. But, WHY IS HE STARTING? Robert Fick has yet to deliver in the clutch in 2007. And, only twice in 2006. If Our Washington Nationals are rebuilding, then why is Chris Snelling not out there playing leftfield each and every day, especially with Nook Logan still on the Disabled List. We are team building, not giving aged veterans with diminishing skills the opportunity to resurrect their career, for the sake of a youngster. If that was the case, why not keep Jose Guillen? Why not keep Jose Vidro, and definitely, Why not keep Livan Hernandez (Still MY FAVORITE & MOST ENTERTAINING NATIONAL TO EVER WEAR THE WASHINGTON UNIFORM)? Really, Why?
I can put up with loses, but I can't put up with the little pride shown by our players. Each and every time Our Washington Nationals step out on the field, I WANT TO SEE EFFORT!! I don't want to see a Nationals hitter bunt and watch himself get thrown out in a double play. I don't want to see fielders making a less than honest effort on defense. I don't want to see hitters swinging at the very first pitch when an opposing pitcher is in trouble. I don't want to hear your starters complain about their lack of confidence or not being 100% healthy. And, most importantly, I don't want to see a team that ACCEPTS LOSING and proceeds to make excuses for themselves.
Manny, my friend--There could be very few on The Nationals Bandwagon more than me. Never, will I turn my back on you or this team. Never in my lifetime. Yet, even I am bothered by the less than stellar effort put forth by Our Washington Nationals. Right now, we are in trouble. The ship is sinking fast.
You have been dealt a very uneven hand. With all your flair, decency and knowledge, please do your best, TO GIVE ME, THE AFRICAN QUEEN, SECTION 320 and OUR FANS, something to cheer for the remainder of 2007. I know its inside you. And, I know its inside many of our players. Hang in there. Be tough. Be Competitive. Help resurrect Our Franchise.
Manny, I am so sorry. You deserve better.
PS--During today's online chat with Barry Svrluga at WashingtonPost.com, Barry did respond to my question whether Manny stills flashes his customary charismatic smile despite the teams troubles this season:
Acta: He's still got that smile. We see it more in the afternoon than late at night, though, after some of these games.
Personally, I was happy to read that fact.
Tonight's In Game Photos--(AP) Tom Mihalek